“Access to natural spaces has a range of benefits to the community and councils are using parks to promote health and fitness, local heritage, public art, festivals and wildlife walks."
Responding to research by Keep Britain Tidy, which reveals the majority of people are not getting their recommended daily ‘dose’ of time in green space, to coincide with Love Parks Week, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said:
“Access to natural spaces has a range of benefits to the community and councils are using parks to promote health and fitness, local heritage, public art, festivals and wildlife walks.
“Councils are doing everything they can to keep their parks and green spaces open and available to their communities.
“But with councils in England facing an £8 billion funding gap by 2025, the money local government has to provide vital services, such as parks and open spaces, is running out fast. It is vital the Government uses the forthcoming Spending Review to provide councils with funding to maintain their parks.”
Notes to editors
- You can find activities for Love Parks Week on Keep Britain Tidy’s interactive map
- Councils in England face an overall funding gap of £8 billion by 2025. The LGA’s #CouncilsCan campaign calls on the new Prime Minister to ensure the forthcoming Spending Review secures the future of vital local services and the long-term financial sustainability of councils. Visit our campaign page for more information.
- In recognition that the health of our public parks is under threat due to a dramatic shift in local authority funding, the National Trust and National Heritage Lottery Fund have launched a multi-million pound parks initiative.They will invest in and work with eight council areas to help secure the future of the UK’s urban parks and green spaces.
- In February 2019, Government recognised that councils did not have enough money for maintenance of parks and announced one off funding of £9.7 million to give local leaders and communities resources to better maintain their recreational spaces. The next Spending Review needs to build this funding in as an annual part of local government’s settlement. £2.75 million was also made available for the pocket parks plus programme to support communities to take the lead in transforming their neglected and derelict spaces.
#CouncilsCan: Spending Review 2019
With the right funding and powers, councils can continue to lead local areas, improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for public services and save money for the taxpayer. Securing the financial sustainability of local services must be the top priority for the Spending Review.